Pediatric flu deaths reported in Kentucky and Ohio

Influenza Making Inroads in Greenwich: Not too Late for Vaccine; Tamiflu Shortages

It may be more important for people in the high-risk groups listed above to start antiviral medication right away, because these drugs may reduce the risk of complications and hospitalizations from flu. The Alabama Department of Public Health has several flu shot clinics scheduled throughout the state.

So far there have only been nine total intensive care unit admissions for the entire flu season, and four of those occurred in the first week of 2018. "This year's flu strains were not the expected strains so that's the reason for the reduction in the efficacy". A map on the CDC's website shows widespread activity in all of the continental U.S.

According to the Department of Health, cases of influenza rose 54 percent and new cases have been reported in all counties over the past week.

But why does it seem like the flu shot isn't working this year? Officials in Westchester say their numbers are about the same. Harrie notes that the health department only tracks cases where residents were hospitalized for 24 hours or more. Harrie said people often confuse the flu for a stomach bug and believe flu symptoms include diarrhea, nausea and vomiting.

Some of the symptoms of influenza include fever, cough, sore throat, runny/stuffy nose, headache, muscle aches, and extreme fatigue.

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So why doesn't the flu shot work? Whether you're in a high-risk category or not, key warning signs that you should go to the ER are fever that climbs to 103° F or higher, or trouble breathing while at rest or with slight exertion, says Marvin M. Lipman, M.D., Consumer Reports' chief medical adviser. "Don't try to tough it out".

When it comes to medications for the flu, if you're really miserable, prescription antiviral drugs such as oseltamivir (Tamiflu and generic) or zanamivir (Relenza) may shorten the illness by a day or so-which may be of modest benefit to an otherwise healthy person, Pavia says.

Doctors say it is not too late to get a flu shot, and they highly recommend most people get one considering the severity of the flu this season.

Doctors recommend common sense measures such as avoiding sick people and frequent hand washing as other ways to prevent flu. Wearing a mask also can help eliminate the spread of the flu. This is not be to unexpected because normal years they are required to determine what flu strains will be out. To find a flu vaccine near you, please visit: www.vaccinefinder.org.

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